The latest electric bike I’ve been trialling is the Volt Pulse. It’s a hybrid built in the style of a Dutch town bike, with a little suspension in front and a 250W rear hub motor in the back, capable of assisting you up to the legal limit of 15.5mph. The Pulse has a throttle control on the left handlebar too, meaning you can use your thumb to boost yourself up to top speed, as long as the pedals are moving, which is useful for safely zipping away from the lights ahead of other road users.
The Pulse has a decent set of Shimano gears, though I nearly always find myself riding in top gear on ebikes that have them. Though not battery-efficient, the motor will take nearly all of the grunt out of getting up to speed in any gear. Similarly, you can dial down the assistance level if you’d like to exert yourself a little more, but if your goal is to arrive at your destination looking as relaxed as you did when you set off, you’ll whack the thing into the highest power mode and enjoy the ride.
Even when asking so much of the motor, the Pulse swallowed up my 12-mile round-trip commute with barely a notch taken out of the battery. It’ll manage more than 60 miles if you ride it like a saint. The Dutch-style frame lock is another neat touch. Coupled with the secure (and hard to spot) battery it makes the Pulse less likely to be stolen than nearly every other bike I’ve tested.